When Is Snoring Something to Worry About?
Around one-quarter of Americans regularly snore each night, much to the chagrin of their bed partners. Snoring is often brushed off as being a loud, annoying habit, but did you know it may be a warning sign of more pressing health issues?
While most people snore every now and then, it may also be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or other breathing issues. If you’re told you often snore in your sleep, you may want to be aware of these warning signs.
What Causes Snoring?
Snoring occurs when your muscles relax and the tissues near your airway vibrate and rattle as you breathe. Some people may be more prone to snoring than others, for reasons such as:
- Chronic nasal congestion
- Deviated septum
- Large tonsils
- Facial composure
When Should I See a Doctor About My Snoring?
While snoring doesn’t always indicate a health issue, many of the reasons you may be more prone to snoring overlap with the development of sleep apnea. It’s best to consult with your doctor if you experience any of the following:
Snoring More Than Three Nights a Week
Infrequent snoring isn’t much to worry about, but those who snore more than three times per week and display symptoms of sleep apnea should seek a professional diagnosis. Frequent snoring like this isn’t always a warning sign, but when accompanied by headaches, nausea, or mood swings, it may be time for a sleep test.
We often associate snoring with deep sleep, but for sleep apnea sufferers, this is far from the truth. Sleep apnea makes it nearly impossible to get quality sleep, and can often leave you nodding off during the day. If you feel like your nights have been less than restful, consult with a sleep specialist today.
Recent Weight Gain
Because snoring and sleep apnea can be made worse by obesity, you should consult with a sleep specialist if you frequently snore and notice recent weight gain. Sleep apnea can not only leave you too tired to exercise and prepare healthy meals, but it can also take a significant toll on your metabolism, causing you to gain weight.
Gasping or Choking in Your Sleep
Perhaps one of the more scary warning signs, people who gasp and choke in their sleep during snores are likely suffering from a sleep or breathing disorder. This also indicates a pause in breathing during sleep, one of the most obvious signs of sleep apnea. If your partner notices any lapses in your breathing at night, it’s time to visit your doctor.
Even if you don’t have sleep apnea, treating snoring can still be beneficial to both you and your bed partner. Some snoring treatments include:
- Lifestyle changes (weight loss, adjusting sleep position, etc.)
- Oral appliances
- Mouth and throat exercises
- CPAP therapy
- Oral surgery (in severe cases)
Get the Quality Rest You Deserve
If snoring has been disrupting your daily activities or causing worrying symptoms, visiting a sleep apnea specialist can help you get the restful sleep you need. If you’re concerned you may have sleep apnea, visit Dr. Lauck today at North Texas Sleep Solutions. To schedule an appointment at our Keller office, give us a call at (817) 431-6764, or fill out our online contact form. We look forward to helping you on your journey to better sleep!